Adelfo Cerame - Pre-Contest-Prep: Rest, Recovery and the Underestimated Value of Taking a Week Off.
|Image 1: If this is how you feel, than it is about time you take one week off from whatever routine you are on.|
The results of this practice, in the best case, are boredom and discontent - in the worst case, however, our routines will burn us out and make us sick. Adelfo, our man at the 2012 Wheelchair Nationals, is well aware of the fallacy of routines - especially when it comes to going to the gym day in and day out and he knows that taking a day off before you feel it is utterly necessary is way smarter than digging a whole out of which you cannot escape, no matter how "hard" you rest ;-)
One Week Out = One Week Off
I'm taking a week off from training, before the hot phase of my contest preparation begins. The time, this stands out of question, is well spent to heal my nagging pains, to rest my body, who has already been sending me the first signs of a cold and, most importantly, to be able - mentally as well as physically - to really kickstart my contest preparation in October.
|Image 2: Comparison shots from September, 1st to September 21 2011 - the prep has not yet begun, therefore no major changes in this time of experimentation (photos by Adelfo Cerame, 2011)|
"You should always listen to your body!"
Well, I guess you will have heard this verdict before "listen to your body" - but what if your heart, certainly a part of your body, cries - "I am afraid I could lose muscle!" and it cries so loud that you can hardly hear the your aching muscles under the pain of weeks and months of continuous training. Now, what can your do? I guess, the best thing will be to advice your brain to tell your heart to shut up and rest. At least that is what I decided to do and to take my mind off the issue of losing muscle or getting fat, I am sitting down and getting the plan for my contest preparation stream-lined. I am planning my workouts (and off times !), sketching the meals I will be eating and deciding on which the foods that will make up the majority of my diet in the next 4-5 months.
"Rest appropriate nutrition" - cutting back carbs, when you don't need them
|Image 2: Healthy post-workout meal of the week - 7oz raw wild caught salmon, 12oz sweet potatoe, 6 carrots, 1c mangoes, 1 tbs raw blue agave and some refreshing coconut milk - the all natural sports beverage!|
- raw milk, carrots and raw cheese, or
- raw/seared steaks / sashimi with carrots or fruit and coconut oil, or
- raw wild caught salmon from image 3, but without the sweet poatoe
Refeed? I guess you have already been waiting for this keyword to occur. After all, I promised you to report on my experience with a fruit based refeed... Well, I gorged on fruits just as I would have done with pancakes and the processed carbs that I usually eat on my re-feeds, and... I would have to say that even though I stuffed myself with fruits I did not get that comatose or sick feeling that I usually get, with the crappy foods from the grocery store. While I am still not a 100% sold on the idea, I am toying with the idea to start out my prep with fruit-based refeeds. We will see whether this will be sustainable, once I start getting leaner... for now, it works fine, though.
Adelfo Cerame's personal blueprint: Mens sana in corpore sano
|Video 1: Adelfo does single arm cable rows 2 weeks before the hot phase of his contest preparation.|
I will also try and use my week wisely to do some meditating, soul searching and spend some time with the Lord, as I like to be spiritually healthy just as I am physically healthy. And, in case spirituality is not for you and you do not feel like taking a week off, anyway, you may want to check out the promised training video (video 1), head to the gym and treat yourself to a large portion of wild-caught salmon with delicious sweet potatoes and some carrots (cf. image 2) ;-)